Tue. Jan 28th, 2020

Gov’t agencies forge partnership to help elevate PAN enforcement among states

From left, first row: Protected Areas Network (PAN) Fund Board Chairman Kevin Chin, Justice Minister and Vice President Raynold Oilouch, and Natural Resources, Environment, and Tourism Minister Umiich Sengabau after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on November 7, 2019. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)

Several government agencies have agreed to create a formal training program for enforcers of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) set forth under the Protected Areas Network (PAN) with an aim of elevating the capacity of the states to boost their conservation efforts.

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ), Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Tourism (MNRET), and the PAN Fund had signed the one-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) yesterday, November 7, at the MOJ office.

Special Assistant to the Vice President Jose Ise, in an interview, said that the program will be piloted in the Northern States such as Kayangel and Ngarchelong and will be replicated to the rest of Palau once it is deemed successful.

MNRET, PAN’s Chief Enforcement Specialist Bradley Kumangai said that the program was inspired from the recommendations drafted from the assessment conducted by PAN on its first five years of operation.

“After five years, there was an assessment done and one of the findings reflected was the recommendation of the improvement of enforcement of PAN and that triggered this partnership with the MOJ,” Kumangai said.

Kumangai explained that the purpose of the partnership is to basically build the capacity of state rangers to enforce their PAN and try to match the example of the Koror’s Department of Conservation and Law Enforcement (DCLE).

“So from the MNRET standpoint, we want to elevate the capacity of other states to be a little bit closer to the level of enforcement and work that Koror State is doing today,” Kumangai said.

The Chief Enforcement Specialist said that the signing of MOU is only the beginning of the second phase of the PAN program which includes a detailed initiative to develop a curriculum academy and come up with a formal procedure on apprehension and prosecution in instances when there is a violation of the PAN regulations.